By METW LEE
WASHINGTON (AP) – Secretary of State Anthony Blinken faces a series of dire global challenges during a diplomatic trip around the world this week that tests the Biden administration’s resilience on various fronts.
From Russia and Ukraine to China and Myanmar, Blinken will have a full agenda to be his longest overseas trip as America’s top diplomat, first to Britain and then to Southeast Asia.
The State Department said Wednesday that Blinken will attend a meeting of the Group of Seven foreign ministers in the UK this weekend before flying to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
At each station, Blinken called on the United States to support efforts to ease tensions between Russia and Ukraine, restore China’s growing resilience in the Indo-Pacific region, and put pressure on Myanmar’s military rulers. strives.
The visit came after President Joe Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin of any military action against Ukraine on Tuesday, a day after the United States announced it would not send an official to the Winter Olympics in China to protest human rights abuses in western Xinjiang. the region and the U.S. strongly condemn the ruling of Myanmar’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Blinken left for Liverpool on Thursday night, where the British government will host a meeting of G7 foreign ministers on global issues such as climate change and the coronavirus pandemic, as well as regional issues such as the rise of Russia and Ukraine and China. especially in Asia. . It will also be attended by colleagues from some non-G-7 countries, including Australia, India, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Blinken addressed a number of issues, including geopolitical and security issues, the mobilization of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, development infrastructure through the Better World Rehabilitation Initiative, COVID-19 vaccines and global health security, the Indo-Pacific conflict. discusses swelling. the region, ”the State Department said.
Blinken will travel from Liverpool to the capitals of ASEAN’s three largest states, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, and return to Washington via Hawaii next weekend.
In Jakarta, where ASEAN is headquartered, the State Department’s Blinken will deliver a keynote address on the importance of the Indo-Pacific region for U.S. foreign policy and the importance of ensuring freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. China’s neighbors accuse Beijing of aggression.
In Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, Blinken plans to deliver similar messages and express deep U.S. concern over the changes in Myanmar, where the military junta seized power shortly after the Biden administration took office.
On Monday, a Myanmar court convicted Su Chini, who was ousted in a de facto coup d’état in February, of two charges that have been criticized as another attempt by the country’s military rulers to reverse recent democratic gains.